Dr. Anita Rothblum, a research scientist at the Coast Guard's Research & Development Center in Groton, Conn., won the Samuel Plimsoll Award for Outstanding Service. The Sandy Hook Pilots and the U.S. Coast Guard shared the award for outstanding service by an organization for their heroic efforts in response to the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001.
Dr. Rothblum has served the U.S. Coast Guard's R&D Center for over a decade, working tirelessly to establish sound science to effect safer operations aboard vessels in the U.S. and abroad. Her work in human endurance and alertness — and her interest in promoting the results in the field — resulted in improved safety and even changes in centuries-old mindsets on the part of crew, ship managers and government personnel.
The Sandy Hook Pilots and the U.S. Coast Guard Activities New York reacted instantaneously to the sight of smoke billowing out of the North Tower. Both organizations have their headquarters on Staten Island, facing across New York Harbor toward lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center site.
As they witnessed the tragedy, the pilots and the Coast Guard took the initiative. They set up a command post on the pilot boat New York. From there they coordinated the prodigious efforts of the maritime community to evacuate people fleeing the area and to support the efforts by firefighters and police to rescue victims, extinguish the fire and assist the injured.
The awards were presented at Professional Mariner's Maritime Casualties Conference and Expo at the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies in Linthicum Heights, Md.